Common vascular surgical conditions
Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections
Aneurysms are stretched and enlarged arteries. This is commonly seen in the chest or abdomen (thoracic or abdominal aortic aneurysms), and sometimes in other arteries throughout the body.
Dissections are when the internal lining of an artery is damaged and split. Vascular surgeons commonly treat dissections of the thoracic and abdominal aorta.
Peripheral Arterial Disease
When arteries become narrowed or blocked they can reduce the blood supply to downstream organs. This can include muscles which can cause pain on exercise, or skin which results in persistent wounds or ulcers.
Carotid Artery Disease
Cholesterol plaque in the carotid arteries of the neck can lead to stroke due to clot or plaque breaking off (emboli). Vascular surgeons can treat and remove these plaques to reduce the risk of future stroke.
Varicose Veins and Chronic Venous Disease
When veins are placed under high pressure, upstream veins just under the skin can become distended and engorged (varicose veins), limbs can swell, and skin damage can develop including pigmentation and ulceration.
Haemodialysis and Vascular Access
Vascular access involves the placement of catheters, ports or other devices to facilitate the safe and rapid delivery of intravenous fluid or medication, including chemotherapy. Patients requiring haemodialysis often require arteriovenous fistulae to make their life-supporting treatment possible.
A wide range of less common conditions are also managed by vascular surgeons. These include arterial and venous compression syndromes such as thoracic outlet syndrome, median arcuate ligament syndrome, May Thurner syndrome, pelvic congestion syndrome, painful varicocoeles and arteriovenous malformations.
Vascular surgeons are also involved in complex cancer surgery, repeat surgery where blood vessels are at risk of damage or injury, and organ transplantation.
In emergency bleeding or trauma vascular surgeons play a critical role in controlling bleeding and repairing blood vessels.